Women’s track takes third in WIAC outdoor opener

Craig Skibo

UW Oshkosh women’s track and field finished third at the UW-Whitewater Invitational on Saturday, April 3 with an overall team score of 132. Taking first in the meet was Whitewater with a score of 182. Placing second was Stevens Point. In its first outdoor meet, Oshkosh had three first-place finishes and six second-place finishes in the meet. Coach Ben Dorsey said with the spring in Wisconsin, the team never knows what to expect. “It was chilly and windy,” Dorsey said. “Anything around the track really wasn’t going to be fast, so I was happy with how things turned out. It’s nice to see the young kids step up.” Going into the meet, Dorsey said he wanted his athletes to execute. “I think it was a good starting point,” Dorsey said. “We wanted to see execution more so than anything.” Senior Samantha Blue won the long jump with a jump of 5.26 meters. Oshkosh continues to be successful in the throwing events with seniors Jecel Klotz and Melanie Brickner winning both the shot put and hammer throw respectively. Klotz won the shot put with a throw of 13.84 meters. Brickner won the hammer throw with a toss of 54.89 meters, which was over one meter farther than her nearest competitor. Brickner said the competition was tough at the meet. “The girls from Whitewater and Point stepped it up,” Brickner said. “But I was pretty relaxed for the first one, so going in and just getting after it.” Brenna Martyn took second in the javelin throw with 31.01 meters. The throwing events have been very good for Oshkosh over the year, and Dorsey said success comes from hard work. “You get out of it what you put in,” Dorsey said. “[Brickner and Klotz] have been working hard as long as I can remember. The focus that they have, and it’s a process.” Dorsey also contributed their success to their experience. “It’s tough for freshmen to realize that you got to put in two to three years of hard work to get to the point where you’re competing for a national title,” Dorsey said. “Those two embraced it and have done a nice job with it.” Brickner said her success comes from being dedicated. “Just working at it,” Brickner said. “I worked at it a lot this summer. The coaching, too has helped a lot and teammates pushing each other.” Oshkosh had three second-place finishes in running events. Sonny Jenkins took second in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4 minutes and 56.36 seconds. Taylor Sherry finished second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.73 seconds. Sherry finished just 0.18 seconds off of the winner Jasmine King of Northern Michigan. Sherry said she just wanted to get the first meet under her belt. “You just have to get used to the difference in distance going from the 60-meter hurdles in indoor to 100-meter hurdles in outdoors,” Sherry said. “I was happy with my time–it was a personal record. I still need to shave off a little bit of time but it was a good starting point.” Oshkosh also finished second in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 49.57 seconds. Oshkosh also took home two second-place finishes in jumping events. Kasey Ederer finished second in the high jump with a jump of 1.63 meters. Also, Karina Marchan finished second in the triple jump with a jump of 10.83 meters. Next up for the women’s track and field team is the UW-Platteville Invitational on Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11.